The Group 3 Howard Ashton is a highly sought after feature in the festival state, open to South Australian bred greyhounds whelped between January 1 and June 30 two years prior to the running of the feature each year.
The Howard Ashton is a three week series, comprising of heats, semi finals and a final, with the feature run over the 515m trip at Angle Park and worth $25,000 to the winner.
Betting on the Group 3 Howard Ashton
While it isn’t a headline group feature on the Australian greyhound racing calendar, the Howard Ashton still attracts quality fields each year which means there is always plenty of betting interest on the series.
Our recommended online bookmakers offer fixed odds betting on the final once the field and box draw have been confirmed. Some bookies such as Bet365 also offer fixed markets for the heats and semi-finals.
Punters can also secure odds for the winner of the final prior to the heats, with some of our bookmakers offering all-in markets, giving you the opportunity to land some value if you think you can spot the winner early in the series.
History of the Group 3 Howard Ashton
Formerly run as the SA Breeders Plate, the event was first run in 1975 when taken out by Fast Velocity, since then it has been taken out by some of the top chasers to have emerged from the state.
The 2005 edition of the SA Breeders Plate was won by Satanic Miss, with the black and white bitch clocking a fast 29.88 over the 515m trip for Robert Isaacson. The daughter of Go Wild Teddy and Patchwork Gem would go on to become a terrific producer once making the move to the breeding barn, producing former top stayer Satanic Cash from her 2007 mating to Big Daddy Cool. Satanic Cash won an incredible 37 races throughout his career and was a finalist in the Sandown Cup, the Super Stayers and the AWM Distance Championship.
In 2007 the race was taken out by Emerley Carlos, trained by Peter and Judi Hurley, with the son of Royal Assassin and Eudunda Eudunda going on to become a leading SA sire, one of his best progeny being Fire Tyson, a finalist in the 2013 Group 1 Adelaide Cup.
2011 saw the brilliant sprinter Hannah McLaren take home the title, with the brindle daughter of Bit Chili and Nimuay Lass scoring in a credible 30.28.
The race was renamed the Howard Ashton in 2013 to mark the contribution made by the race’s namesake to the sport of greyhound racing within SA.
Ashton was the secretary manager at Angle Park between 1971 and 1996, at which point he became the Racing Operations Manager until his retirement in 2000.
Ashton is a life member of the Adelaide Greyhound Racing Club (AGRC) and has an upstairs room at Angle Park named in his honour, while he is also an inductee in the Australian Greyhound Racing Association (AGRA) Hall of Fame alongside some of the greatest names the sport has seen.
Fittingly, in the first year the race was named in his honour, the Howard Ashton was won by Victa Brooke, trained by Ashton’s long time friend Ron Schadow.
Group 3 Howard Ashton – the recent years
2016: Young trainer Ben Rawlings took out the most recent edition of the Group 3 Howard Ashton with his promising youngster Wilba Beast. The son of El Galo and Mighty Chaos defeated a top field including Paddy Mcbain and Don’t Kid Me to take home the $25,000 first prize.
2015: The 2015 running of the Howard Ashton was taken out by Galactic Viper for trainer David Geal, with the black dog scoring by a widening six lengths in a slick 29.83.
2014: Bozidar Stamenkovic collected his second Howard Ashton/SA Breeders Plate within the space of three years when Boojerooma scored in 2014. The daughter of Collision and Koombooyana Star gained a start in the feature off box one following the scratching of her litter mate and kennel mate Koombooyana Kid and was sent to the boxes at double figure odds. Despite the big price, the black bitch dug deep to claim the lead in the closing stages to score by a length over Wingard in 29.83.
2013: Victa Brooke showed brilliant speed from box four to take out the first edition of the race after it was renamed the Howard Ashton. The brindle bitch took advantage of a scrimmage behind her to kick clear from the remainder of the field, saluting the judge nine lengths clear of her rivals to score in a flying 29.77.
Group 3 Howard Ashton – honour roll
1975 – Fast Velocity
1976 – Fullkiri Chief
1977 – Shannon’s Bounty
1978 – “Not Held”
1979 – Noisy Band
1980 – Come On Baden
1981 – Stingray Plus
1982 – Lezabarda
1983 – Future Aim
1984 – Dan O’Pandee
1985 – Dodge City
1986 – Tempix True
1987 – Chariot Moss
1988 – Julep
1989 – Kinta’s Ace
1990 – First Issue
1991 – Silver Hill
1992 – Ice Bear
1993 – Croation Star
1994 – Gemtrea Comet
1995 – Chopper Harley
1996 – Salumae
1997 – Slipaway Charlie
1998 – Buncrana
1999 – Janelle
2000 – Mary Jo McLaren
2001 – Likely Excuse
2002 – Phantom Devil
2003 – Oaktrea Raider
2004 – Give Me Dosh
2005 – Satanic Miss
2006 – Lucky Pristine
2007 – Emerley Carlos
2008 – Elegant Vintage
2009 – Gold
2010 – Tomic
2011 – Hannah McLaren
2012 – My Little Star
2013 – Victa Brooke
2014 – Boojerooma
2015 – Galactic Viper
2016 – Wilba Beast